Landslide threatens to cut off Snohomish County community

by: Chris Legeros Updated:


INDEX, Wash. - Mt. Index River Sites is a private community dealing with a disaster.  Tons of muds and trees came sliding down onto the main road in December, cutting off residents above the slide. 

The earth has continued to move ever since then.  Emergency managers have warned the worst damage may be yet to come. 

Lynne Kelly is a member of the Index community club’s board.  .She looked at the slide as she walked by and said, “To me, it’s a scary place to be.”

The community club has spent $50,000 trying to keep at least one lane open for four-wheel drive vehicles, only to see it repeatedly covered again.

Kelly said many residents just walk through mud that's ankle deep.  She said, “Look at the trees, the trees can come sliding down right on you in matter of seconds.” 

There are worries that 80 to 100 full-time residents above the slide won't get any help if they have an emergency.  

Scott Osenbrock is one of those residents.  “Emergencies, heart attack, anything, no aid cars can get up here, let alone firetrucks.” said Osenbrock.  “Our homes and property won’t be worth anything.”

There’s been talk of building a new road around the slide, or perhaps even a new bridge across the Skykomish River to give residents another way out of their neighborhood. 

Kelly said that would cost thousands or even millions of dollars that the community club doesn’t have.

The club is looking at the possibility of getting a loan.  Government can’t help pay for a fix because all of the damage is on private property. 

Kelly said, “It’s just awful, it’s a horrible situation.”